Tucked away on a little strip near the corner of Margaret street and Riverside avenue lies Choban Gryos serving up Mediterranean fare along the lines of gyros, soups, salads, kabobs, and grape leaves. The space is spotlessly clean and bright, exactly the kind of place you feel good about eating inside. We stopped in on a rainy summer afternoon to relax and grab a bite.
We started things off with lentil soup. The flavors in this soup were subtle but comforting. I could see eating this when I’m not feeling well or to warm up on a cold day. We loved it! I’d come back just for the lentil soup.
When we dove into the Choban sampler we thought, “This dish has it all!” The sampler is $13.95 and comes with Gyro meat, chopped chicken, lentil patties, hummus, cucumber salad, tabbouleh and grape leaves. The Gyro meat had good flavor and we watched it cut off a solid block of meat spinning on a spit as all legit Gyro meat is. Big points for that as so many places now pull it already chopped out of the fridge or freezer and throw it on the grill. The chopped chicken was well seasoned. The tabbouleh and cucumber salads tasted nice and fresh. The hummus was a solid representation. The grape leaves were vegetarian and made fresh. They exuded the strong tangy flavor grape leave lovers always look for. The lentil patties were a nice base flavor which added balance to the plate.
When the gentleman from Choban served up the falafel he told us that it’s the best in town. It was full of flavor, consistent in texture with a crunchy outside and more tender middle. We were fans.
One of the sides they offer are “Choban fries” served with feta cheese and oregano. This was our least favorite item. It was a bit lackluster. I think if they drizzled tzatziki sauce over them it would kick things up a notch and add cohesiveness to the fries.
One of the other dishes the folks at Choban served up for us to try was Cigkofte. This traditional Turkish dish is typically served as patties of raw ground beef but Choban served a vegan variety made up of tomato, onion, and parsley plus Turkish spices. The dish has a bit of a grainy texture. However, it’s packed with flavor and finishes with a bit of a spicy kick.
At the end of the meal we were served Turkish coffee with a couple of bites of Turkish delight plus baklava. The coffee had amazing flavor and the Turkish delight was the perfect sweet taste to cut the bitterness of the coffee. The baklava, served hot was very good. More places should make a point to serve it hot.
All in all our visit to Choban was very good. The people are friendly and passionate about the food they serve. When you visit a place where the folks making the food love what they do and put their heart into it you can always taste the difference. If you’re a fan of Mediterranean cuisine make a point to check out Choban.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.